Ernest Farino | Script Revolution

Ernest Farino

Ernest Farino's picture
Ernest Farino
Houston, United States

Ernest Farino (DGA) has directed 3 features, 7 hours of television, and extensive 2nd Unit. He most recently directed an episode of the SyFy/Netflix series Superstition co-created and starring Mario Van Peebles, and his episode of Monsters, from a story by Robert (Psycho) Bloch, was the top episode of the premiere season. His feature Steel and Lace starred Oscar nominee Bruce Davison, David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) and Michael Cerveris (recent costar of The Good Wife) and was written by Emmy winner Joseph Dougherty.

Steel and Lace is a cool, inventive take on the revenge thriller … the Pulp
Fiction
of its time. New concepts integrate a lot of genres into a well crafted/
shot/edited film. An excellent example of good direction.”  — Online review

Farino directed 7 episodes of ABC’s top-rated Land of the Lost starring Timothy Bottoms, the stage play Dub by Henry Slesar (voted Best-of-the-Fest at Hollywood’s Attic Theater), and 2 feature-length installments of Josh Kirby: Time Warrior! for Paramount.

Farino has also directed extensive 2nd Unit— not only action and visual effects sequences, but full dramatic scenes featuring principal cast. This work can be seen in the Tom Hanks/HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, NBC’s Noah’s Ark starring Jon Voight, SyFy’s miniseries Dune starring William Hurt, and Hallmark’s Supernova starring Luke Perry and Tia Carrere.

Produced screenplays include Terminal Force, Beverly Hills Vamp and Demonsword. Two recent script assignments, Lost Vegas (comedy) and The Ingenious Adventure of Benjamin Gale (family film) are slated for production with Farino directing. Current screenplays include adapting a well-received coming-of-age novel, a Hitchcock-style crime thriller, a Christmas-themed family film, a true-crime miniseries and an animated Christmas TV special. Farino brings production expertise to every project as a result of extensive work as a visual effects designer/producer for films such as James Cameron’s The Terminator and The Abyss, Brian DePalma’s Raising Cain, Snow White–A Tale of Terror starring Sigourney Weaver, and From the Earth to the Moon, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. Farino won consecutive Emmys for his work as the Visual Effects Supervisor on the Dune and Children of Dune miniseries.

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 It all started in the 8th grade with The Curse of Dracula, a 3-minute Super-8 film shot and edited entirely “in-camera.” By high school Farino was directing industrial films and TV commercials in the Dallas, Texas market for clients such as Frozen Food Express and Pepsi Cola. Farino was elected president of the Drama Club and, as an actor, performed leading roles in Inherit the Wind and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others, winning a state-wide Best Supporting Actor award as “The Devil” in The Devil and Daniel Webster. This experience has lately proven invaluable as a director in creatively working with actors.

In the mid-70’s Farino became head of the animation department for the Dallas-based Century Studios, and designed and directed several elaborate visual effects commercials.

Farino moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and was quickly hired by Coast Productions to animate the Pillsbury Doughboy and supervise and direct effects for other national advertising accounts such as AMC Trucks and Armour Hot Dogs, as well as such features as Virus and ABC’s Mayflower: The Pilgrim’s Adventure. Later free-lancing, he created effects for Creepshow, The Howling, Caveman and John Carpenter’s The Thing, among others, then headed the Animation/ Rotoscope department for Roger Corman’s Galaxy of Terror and Saturday the 14th.

Farino formed Kinetic Image Productions and provided animation for the Emmy Award-winning visual effects for ABC’s The Winds of War. His elaborate James Bond-style main title for TAG: The Assassination Game won the Silver Medal at the 25th International Film & TV Festival of New York.

James Cameron had been art director for Galaxy of Terror and when it came time to put The Terminator before the cameras, Farino was called on as on-set Visual Effects Coordinator and designed/supervised all animation and lightning effects, as well as the Main Title sequence (the big steel letters gliding across the screen).

Numerous visual effects projects followed including 2nd Unit Director (Kauai) and visual effects supervisor for Lady in White. After designing the Main Title For The Abyss, Farino was asked by James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd to join the post-production team as visual effects coordinator and liaison to DreamQuest Images and to supervise VistaVision compositing at Pacific Title.

Simultaneous to his visual effects work, Farino had been writing screenplays, including his own Hitchcock-style psychological mystery/thriller Blood White and assignments such as the comedy Beverly Hills Vamp and the police thriller Terminal Force. His action/thriller script First Strike placed 11th out of over 1,000 entries in the annual Writer’s Digest magazine national screenwriting competition.

When the syndicated series Monsters needed stop motion animation for an episode that still lacked a director, Farino was given the opportunity to combine his skills and direct Mannikins of Horror. The result was touted as the top episode of the premiere season. Consequently, Farino was asked to direct the premiere episode of the second season (A Bond of Silk) and became the only director to return within the same season for his third episode, The Offering.     The Monsters episodes lead Farino to directing his first feature film, Steel and Lace (Fries Entertainment) starring Bruce Davison (Oscar® nominee for Longtime  Companion), Clare Wren (The Young Riders), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London) and Michael Cerveris (Tony nominee as Tommy in The Who’s Tommy on Broadway) and  written by Emmy winner Joseph Dougherty. Following theatrical release, Steel and Lace recouped over $1 million in foreign sales on its first offering, had an initial pre-buy of 20,000 video units, was then released on laserdisc, and has played extensively on Pay-Per-View, HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel and Showtime.

Still applying his visual effects expertise to select projects, Farino supervised the Main Title sequence and certain optical effects for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, designed and directed visual effects for HBO’s feature Cast a Deadly Spell, and designed the Main Titles for HBO’s Citizen Cohn, starring James Woods, Truman, starring Gary Sinese, and Brian DePalma’s Raising Cain. He served as Visual Effects Supervisor/2nd Unit Director on Columbia’s sci-fi spectacle Screamers, filmed in Montreal and starring Peter Weller, and spent three months in Prague supervising Visual Effects for Interscope’s Snow White— A Tale of Terror, starring Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill.

For network television Farino directed seven episodes of ABC’s top-rated Land of the Lost starring Timothy Bottoms, including the premiere episodes for both seasons.

Farino also directed his first stage play, the comedy Dub by Henry Slesar, voted Best-of-the-Fest at the Attic Theater’s One Act Play Festival.

Farino directed Planet of the Dino-Knights and Journey to the Magic Cavern, feature-length installments in the family sci-fi film series Josh Kirby: Time Warrior for Kushner-Locke/Paramount and filmed in Bucharest, Romania. Returning to visual effects work, Farino was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for the Tom Hanks/HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. Farino spent 6 months in Australia supervising visual effects and directing major sequences (“The Destruction of Sodom” and “The Big Flood”) for NBC’s Noah’s Ark, starring Jon Voight. Farino then designed and produced the visual effects for Sci-Fi Channel’s miniseries Dune (as 2nd Unit Director directing full scenes comprising over one hour of that program) and Children of Dune, winning two consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Visual Effects. Farino spent 6 months in Cape Town, South Africa, supervising visual effects and directing 2nd Unit for Supernova, starring Luke Perry and Tia Carrere. Recently, as part of running his own publishing enterprise, Farino is applying his graphic design skills to a 3-volume series of elaborate coffee-table style hardcover books, Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks by British author Mike Hankin. 

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Scripts By Ernest

Christmas Castaways
Sailing to New Zealand to surprise her husband, a storm maroons a woman and her two children on a tropical island. A recluse on the island aids their survival and rescue in time for Christmas.
Feature Family For sale 109pp
Blood White
A con man takes drastic action by planning to murder his wife to collect her trust fund. An ally agrees to do it but makes a deadly mistake, escalating things to a violent climax.
Feature Thriller For sale 109pp
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